In a recent farewell pop-up show at Brookside Stables, on the south side of Colorado Springs, longtime resident and classical artist Erin Jones said goodbye to her hometown to pursue new art education opportunities in nearby Denver.
Leaving the childhood home where she's cultivated strong roots, including frequent exhibitions at The Modbo, might seem like a tough decision, but it won't be the first time Jones has stepped out of the familiar to seek new ways to expand her artistic skills. From 2012 into 2014, and again in summer 2016, she lived abroad in Italy and Greece, studying at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts, expanding her education in a variety of mediums, including oil, egg tempera, printmaking and drawing.
She found that living amongst the masterworks was a powerful experience — one that has continued to shape her art today.
Her current work reflects a classical education with her own modern twist.
"I've been studying different kinds of classical painting and classical printmaking throughout my artistic career," Jones explains. "I tend to include modern subject matter, but I'm really inspired by the old works."
At every point in Jones' career, a love of learning has been central to the growth of her talent and the flourishing of her work.
"I think it's really important as an artist and educator to remain curious," says Jones. This curiosity is also what drove her — at the young age of 13 — to begin her instruction in the visual arts through a local program called FutureSelf.
Before closing in 2011, FutureSelf allowed teens to learn a variety of mediums under the tutelage of local artists. Jones thrived in the program, working as both a student and a volunteer and eventually becoming a teacher.
"It was a pretty awesome organization," says Jones. "They opened themselves up to a variety of students from every background — foster homes, teen courts and other organizations looking to help kids use art as an outlet.
Jones plans to continue the tradition of giving back to the arts in her new community in whatever capacity she can. She also hopes to find new opportunities to share her work in Denver in the months ahead.
While she's in transition, her work remains available at her website, erinjonesart.com, and her latest projects can be viewed on Instagram or Facebook, both @erinjonesart.